Army of the Dead star Dave Bautista has praised the diversity of the cast of Zack Snyder’s Netflix zombie film in an emotional tweet. Due for release in 2020, Army of the Dead marks a long-awaited return to the zombie genre for Snyder after the release of his reboot of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead back in 2004. Set in a quarantined Las Vegas during a zombie outbreak, the film focuses on a group of mercenaries - led by Bautista’s character Scott - attempting to pull off a very lucrative, but very dangerous, heist.
Bautista was the first confirmed cast member of Army of the Dead, and the production has been steadily rounding out its ensemble cast since with the addition of talents like Ella Purnell (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children), Garret Dillahunt (Fear the Walking Dead), and Ana de la Reguera (Power). Filming officially began in mid-July in New Mexico, and shortly after Snyder treated his fans to a first look image of the Army of the Dead cast in costume looking more than ready to fight off a horde of flesh-hungry zombies.
Now that he and his fellow cast members are getting acquainted on set, Bautista voiced how delighted he is by the cast’s ethnic and international diversity in a recent tweet. A quick once-over of the cast proves Bautista isn’t wrong. Army of the Dead’s US-born cast members are a testament to the American melting pot - Bautista is half-Filipino, co-star Raúl Castillo (Unsane) was born to Mexican parents, Omari Hardwick (Power) is African-American, and Theo Rossi (Luke Cage) boasts Italian, Spanish, and Syrian ancestry. Check out the tweet below:
I was looking at my amazing piers and realizing how ethnically and internationally diverse the #AOTD cast is. And it feels RIGHT! It feels like #onerace. It feels like what I thought America was. My projects coming are all this... Beautifully #diverse ..#DreamChaser #antiracist— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) July 26, 2019
Its non-American cast, meanwhile, includes Ana de la Reguera who hails from Mexico and Chinese-Canadian actress Samantha Win who has previously worked with Snyder as a stunt double on productions including Sucker Punch and Man of Steel. Europe is well-represented, too, with Ella Purnell, Nora Arnezeder (Mozart in the Jungle), and Matthias Schweighöfer (You Are Wanted) hailing from England, France, and Germany, respectively. Finally, Indian actress Huma Qureshi (Netflix’s Leila) and Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada (Westworld) round out the international side of the Army of the Dead cast.
The issue of representation in the film industry is something that Bautista has spoken about in the past, and judging by his tweet it seems as though movies with diverse casts like Army of the Dead are something he might be focusing on throughout his career. Luckily for Bautista, he’s about to find himself surrounded by more diverse casts in his regular gig as Drax the Destroyer in the MCU after Marvel producer Trinh Tran promised that a lot of diverse characters were coming in Phase 4. Let’s hope that the diverse casts and characters of both Army of the Dead and Phase 4 of the MCU are the shape of things to come in Hollywood.
Source: Dave Bautista